By Amanda Painter
It always fascinates me when a personal event reflects not only the astrology, but also something about the cultural zeitgeist. I had one of those experiences early Monday evening, just a few hours before the Aries Full Moon peaked.
I was going through the security line to board a flight, and opted out of the scanning machine, requesting a pat-down instead.
This has been my policy for a number of years now: it’s kind of a solo, silent protest against the machines and their original privacy issues, and against the massive, barely questioned undermining of civil liberties swept in by the Patriot Act following the Sept. 11 disaster.
I realize a silent protest is not going to effect change, but I do it more for myself: as a way of claiming my limited power of choice in the situation, knowing that I am perfectly within my rights not to offer any explanation. Perhaps someone more hell-bent on making a point to ‘the authorities’ would make a statement, but what can I say? I am a practical Taurus; I want to get to my destination without missing my flight and having to pay for another one.
For me, it is enough to know that I am taking my space in a situation where there’s a lot of pressure — psychological and temporal — to just keep everything moving smoothly and not stand out. I know that as I stand there getting my pat-down, some people are probably wondering if I got flagged by security as a risk. So I guess there’s an element of wanting to be an example to others that it’s possible to go through this procedure without feeling like a victim: I am choosing this, and my reasons are my own.
As best I can remember, I’ve almost always been by myself as I stand to the side, waiting for an available female TSA agent to arrive. Even if I’m traveling with my boyfriend, he goes through the scanner and waits on the other side. Sometimes it takes an unnervingly long time for the agent to arrive if things are busy.
Monday night, however, was another story. Just before I opted out, another woman had. As we waited in line, we both remarked on how we’re always the only ones, and the reactions of our respective partners to this choice when traveling with them. The she said something that surprised and heartened me:
“Gotta be part of the revolution. I’m not going to just do what they tell me to do.”
I laughed and said something like, “Me too, but I never give them my reason.”
And then, before we knew it, there were two other women standing in the opt-out line with us. One seemed to be European, and a little nervous. The fourth was a tall woman of color who also shared her amazement that there were four of us, since she’s always the only one, and how great it was to have this support. The TSA agents, too, were clearly shocked that, out of the blue, there were four women opting out all at once.
Sure, it could just have been “coincidence,” and I have no idea if the other two women also made their choice as an act of protest or out of some kind of health fear or what. But there’s such a beautiful correlation with the astrology: during a personal-is-political Full Moon involving a fair amount of goddess energy (see last Thursday’s essay); Chiron in the sign of identity; a super-giant galaxy (with the Sun and Mercury) in the Venus-ruled sign of justice; and the asteroid of holding sacred space conjoined with the planet of authority, in the sign of big business and government, four women found solidarity together in their very personal choices to stand apart from a political policy that most people go along with unquestioningly.
I don’t know if this is resonating with anyone else as much as it did for me, but in the moment it felt exciting and meaningful. It was like there was one of us for each of the cardinal signs, at a time when women are increasingly stepping up and speaking out in U.S. culture, albeit about a different issue.
In any case, though the emotional intensity of Monday night’s Full Moon has dissipated by now, many of the other bodies involved in that event are essentially still in the same positions. So there’s a good chance you’re continuing to deal with much of the same inner and environmental material that came to light earlier in the week — though perhaps at a more manageable wattage, which might make it easier to gain some progress. Today’s astrology in particular highlights some of these aspects.
According to the Libra Sun’s trine to Mars in Aquarius today, it’s a good time to work on projects that are already underway. You may also find that you have great energy for getting physically active. According to astrologer Robert Hand, Sun-Mars trines often allude to solo work being beneficial; though with Mars in Aquarius, the sign of groups, collaboration could also be helpful.
On the other hand, if obligations seem to be crowding out the things you’d most like to be doing, can you find something about your responsibilities that you can feel good about devoting yourself to? Today’s Saturn-Vesta conjunction in Capricorn suggests that is the key: if you can’t do what you love and what brings you joy, locate the joy and love in committing to the task at hand fully. It may feel more like ‘presence’ or ‘fulfillment’ than your usual idea of ‘love and joy’, but it really is a shade of the same thing.
Mercury’s conjunction to Ceres in Libra brings it all home: just like you are what you eat, to a certain extent you are what you think (and say). Directing your thoughts toward what nourishes and sustains you and those you care about does not mean ignoring what is wrong with the world, or glossing over personal pain. It’s about finding some balance, and understanding how much agency you have in that process. Nobody’s perfect at it; all we can do is keep practicing.
Finally, looking ahead to the weekend, on Saturday the asteroid Juno enters Gemini about 10 hours after the Moon does the same. This would seem to highlight the need to have more than one type of relationship in life. We all know this is true, and that it happens whether we consciously intend it or not: various types of family relationships, friendships and acquaintances, and intimate relationships emerge naturally.
Yet, it is so easy for many people to fall into the habit of putting almost all of their social and emotional needs on just one significant other — and then they get frustrated when that person falls short in meeting them. How do you communicate what you can be for someone and what you can’t be? How do you express what you’re looking for, in a way that is verbally and energetically clear enough that the other person can reply honestly whether they can meet it?
As Juno in Gemini brings these topics into focus this weekend, notice whether you feel like you’re of two minds about it. That might help you to start noticing what is truly a ‘need’ in your closest relationships and what is really a ‘desire’ or preference. Undoubtedly, when Venus stations retrograde in Scorpio in just over a week (Oct. 5), you’ll likely be able to take these questions even deeper. It couldn’t hurt to start investigating now.